Eliezer and many others experience challenges during the holocaust that split the family and ruin relationships between them. In the book Night by Elie Wiesel, Eliezer and his father’s relationship is very different than that of Rabbi Eliahou and his son but as the novel progresses their relationships become more similar. Eliezer near the beginning of the book cares for his father very much but as his father becomes more of a burden their relationship worsens.
When they are first moved to the campEliezer’s love for his father is still great. He cares enough to give his father lessons on how to march so he would not be harmed. Eliezer decides to “give [his] father [marching] lessons himself.”(53). People made fun of him for teaching his father how to march but he just ignores this. He does not want anything to happen to his father because his father motivates him to live while Rabbi Eliahou’s son wants to get rid of his father because he finds them useless. But Eliezer and his father stay close to each other for support when they first enter the camp. Eliezer realizes that the Rabbi’s son “wanted to get rid of his father.” (87) He knows his father was starting to fall behind as they were running and so he speeds up to get rid of his father. But his father just thinks he lost his son in the confusion of it all. Even though Eliezer does not want to lose his father he still has periods were he wants to forget about his father and get rid of the burden of supporting his father.
By the end of the book Eliezer’s father son relationship goes downhill. Eliezer starts having thoughts like “don’t let him find me” (101) when he and his father were separated in the chaos of the camp. Eliezer does not care for his father as much as he wants to. He knew his father was sick and lying in the snow but he leaves any way because he sees this as a chance to leave his father. This is just like how Rabbi Eliahou’s son left his father. He was running a long and realized his father could not keep up but he kept running because he wanted “ to get rid of the burden”.(87) The way he refers to his father is as if his father is a piece of luggage that he is going to get rid of because it is too hard to carry. This is just like Eliezer wanting to get rid of his father because he is getting harder and harder to support.
Even though Rabbi Eliahou and Eliezer’s father son affiliations are very different to begin with, Eliezer’s relationship with his father changes dramatically and ends up being closer to what Rabbi Eliahou’s and his son’s connection is like. In both of these relationships the father does not even realize the son wants to get rid of him. The harsh conditions in the concentration camps lead to deteriorating relationships between fathers and sons.